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Narcos' Season 3 to Focus on Cali Cartel

Pablo Escobar's son lists 28 inaccuracies in Narcos Season 2. Not to be outdone, with Narcos planning of butchering the story of the Cali Cartel next, William Abadia-Rodriguez, son of Cali leader Miguel Rodriguez-Orejuela, has an op-ed in La Semana blasting narcodramas in general, and especially the one about his family in particular, En La Boca Del Lobo, calling the informant-protagonist a nobody telling fantasy tales.

The Harvard educated lawyer, now living in Miami (thanks to his plea deal with the U.S, which saw his 21 year sentence reduced to 5 years, after he agreed to testify against his father and uncle, with their blessings, and allowed him, his wife and children and mother-in-law to stay in the U.S) still insists he was only involved in the money laundering and bribery of politician business, not drugs. [More...]

Before 1996 (the year when the government of Ernesto Samper captured Miguel Rodriguez) I was just a law student and then a litigator. Those who really know the history of the Cali Cartel know that both my father and my uncle kept us away from their businesses. Only after the capture of my father, I become the political face of the Cartel.

He wrote a book a few years ago saying the same thing - he wasn't involved in drugs or murder.

The DEA said differently. In the press release of his guilty plea, it wrote:

Rodriguez-Abadia took these actions not only to facilitate the concealment of past drug trafficking activities, but also to facilitate the drug trafficking activities that Miguel Rodriguez-Orejuela and Gilberto Rodriguez-Orejuela were continuing to engage in while at La Picota prison. These drug trafficking activities involved the importation of at least two loads of cocaine, each containing multiple hundreds of kilograms of cocaine, into the United States in 1997 and 1998.

Since Narcos relies on DEA agents' versions of historical events and plays fast and loose with facts and real-life characters, he's probably right to be concerned. I have no doubt the show will butcher his family story as it did the story of Pablo Escobar and the Medellin cartel.

I actually liked En la Boca del Lobo, even though the protagonist clearly resented Abadia-Rodriguez (accusing him of murdering the accountant-informant's wife and portraying him as an incompetent spoiled brat) -- it's on Netflix and there's plenty of time to watch the 80 episodes before Narcos 3 begins. If you don't have time for that, read about Operation Cornerstone. The Bullet or the Bribe (online version here) and At the Devil's Table are good places to begin. Or read the pleadings and Court opinions in the several Cali trials that did take place, including the original trial and retrial of defense lawyers William Moran and Michael Abbell. (Unfair convictions, in my view. Opinion affirming conviction is here. Long article on case here.)

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